Whether you bought a new fitness tracker to get in shape or snagged a smartwatch to have notifications on your wrist, there’s a good chance your old one has been consigned to a drawer or closet. It’s not doing anyone any good languishing there, and the longer you leave it, the lower its value drops. Before it slips from memory entirely, why not spruce up your old smartwatch and sell or gift it to someone?
Here, we’ll run through how to prep your old fitness tracker and sell it for as much money as possible, gift it, donate it, or recycle it. If you don’t have a replacement yet, you can check out our guides to the Best Smartwatches or Best Fitness Trackers for ideas.
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Save Your Data
Before you wipe your wearable, make sure you’ve backed up the latest data so you don’t lose anything. Most smartwatches and fitness trackers sync data automatically with a companion app on your phone. If you’re upgrading to a different model from the same manufacturer and plan to continue using the same app, do a final sync.
If you plan to change to a new brand of watch or tracker, you should export your data. The process for this depends on the device manufacturer. Here are some links to guides on how to export data for some of the biggest brands:
- Apple: Open the Health app, tap your profile at the top right, then Export All Health Data.
- Fitbit: Sign in to Fitbit.com and go to Settings, Data Export.
- Garmin: Visit Garmin Connect and go to Activities, All Activities, Export CSV.
- Google: Go to Google Takeout, deselect all, and then Fit.
- Samsung: Open the Samsung Health app and go to More options, Settings, Download personal data.
- Withings: Click this link and sign in to download a CSV file with all data.
If you have decided which smartwatch or tracker you’re switching to, you can always search the app stores for a third-party app designed to transfer data between those services (there are several available). Once you have exported your data, consider deleting it from the old service if you no longer intend to use it.
Unpair and Wipe Your Wearable
The correct procedure to unpair and factory reset your smartwatch or fitness tracker depends on the manufacturer and model. Unpairing will often automatically trigger a factory reset. We recommend fully charging your device before you wipe it. Once you have wiped your smartwatch or fitness tracker, turn it off. Here are some handy links again:
Since it has likely been on your wrist through rain, shine, and many sweaty workouts, you should clean your device thoroughly. Use a microfiber cleaning cloth and some elbow grease to start. If that doesn’t do the trick, apply some warm water to the cloth to remove stubborn marks and follow up with a dry cloth. We have other applicable tips in our guide on how to clean your smartphone.
Find the Charger and Box
If you plan on selling your old smartwatch or fitness tracker, or even if you’re going to gift or donate it, then you should round up the charger, cable, and any other accessories that came with it. See if you can dig up the original box, too. Not only does it look more attractive to a buyer when it’s boxed up the way it was when you bought it, but the original box is also usually designed to keep the device safe for shipping.
Where to Sell It
You are finally ready to sell your smartwatch or fitness tracker. But where should you sell it? Selling directly is likely to net you the largest payout, but there is more hassle and risk involved.
Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Nextdoor are all good for face-to-face sales. The beauty of these options is that they don’t charge you any fees and they can help you find a local buyer, but it’s up to you to negotiate a price and handle the exchange. It’s a good idea to meet in public and bring a friend with you. Never give the buyer personal information, and be aware that some people will try to haggle when you meet, even if you have already agreed on a price.
Selling Online to People
You can find a larger market on eBay, where there is a brisk trade in old smartwatches and fitness trackers. There is a little uncertainty with the auction process, but looking at sale prices for similar devices will give you a good idea of what you are likely to get. Just remember that you must package and ship your device after it sells. Be honest, particularly if there are signs of wear on your device, or you will likely end up with a return or dispute. Our list of eBay tips may prove useful, though it’s focused on buying on the service. Swappa is a good alternative if you don’t like eBay.
Sell Online to Companies
Places like GadgetPickup, Trademore, and DeCluttr will offer you cash for your old smartwatch or fitness tracker. You get an offer based on the details you enter into a website, and the company provides free shipping or even prepaid shipping materials. The trouble with these companies is they frequently reduce the offer after they receive and inspect your device. It can also take a while to receive your funds. There’s no denying the convenience of selling to a company like this, but make sure you shop around and weigh the offer against customer reviews. The SellCell website is a handy aggregator that shows you offers from some of these services.
Trade In for Credit
Best Buy, Amazon, Verizon, Samsung, Walmart, and many other companies allow you to trade in smartwatches (they don’t usually accept fitness trackers) for credit. In our experience, these offers tend to be low, but if you’re planning to buy from one of these companies, this is an easy way to get some money off. Trade-ins offer the same advantages in terms of a fixed offer and free shipping, but you may find they reduce the offer after inspecting your device. Some of the big retailers let you drop devices off in-store.
Give It Away
Consider gifting your old smartwatches or fitness trackers to family members and friends. You might also look at donating them to charity. Recycle Health is a nonprofit that collects and refurbishes fitness trackers and provides them to underserved populations to encourage fitness. You can also donate old smartwatches or fitness trackers to Goodwill or find a local charity that accepts them.
If your old smartwatch or fitness tracker is broken beyond repair, then it’s time to recycle. Whatever you do, don’t throw that device in the trash. Most manufacturers have a recycling program, and some big retailers have recycling drop-off points for old electronics, including smartwatches and fitness trackers, but do a little research first. E-waste is a growing problem, and some supposedly recycled products end up in hellish e-waste graveyards. To find a responsible recycler near you, search the e-Stewards website.
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